Independence through the eyes of the ‘Kandake’
The 62nd Anniversary of Sudan’s Independence
on January 1st, 2018 in Meroe
Many inhabitants of the region of Bagraweya, ancient Meroe, use to celebrate the independence of their country and New Year by visiting the different archaeological sites at Meroe: the Pyramids and the Royal City. The regional office of archaeology and the Qatari Mission for the Pyramids of Sudan (QMPS) decided to make use of the gathering of large crowds to convey their educational message to the public. Hence, the mission joined the event and organized an Open Day on 1st January 2018 at the pyramids by organizing a lecture, and musical performances of local artists, a puppet play for children, and a comedy theatre for an audience of ca. 700 persons.
The purpose of the program was it to raise public awareness for the conservation and protection of antiquities, targeting specifically various bad habits of visitors such as climbing the walls of ancient structures, writing of names on pyramids and temples and leaving waste after camping on the site.
A series of clear messages was conveyed as part of this program:
- These antiquities belong to all and they are part of the shared history of all Sudanese and part of the general heritage of mankind.
- These monuments represent the remains of the different Sudanese civilizations: our ancestors have built palaces, temples and pyramids using sophisticated techniques at an early date, and employed techniques which even these days are difficult to find in the region.
- It was from here that the Meroites had ruled the country and controlled its economic resources, trade and iron industry for over 800 years.
- “Kandake” was a title used to designate the Meroitic queens. Meroe was ruled throughout four generations by strong queens; the most famous of them are Shanake-Dakhete, Amani-Renas, Amani-Shakheto and Amani-Tore.
- The ‘Kandake” was mentioned in the Bible and the Classical writers described some queens as mighty commanders of the Meroitic army who fought against the Romans in Egypt.